Pre-School Students Explore Identity Development
- First School
Our Pre-Schoolers have been very busy learning about themselves and their friends with a variety of projects designed to encourage Identity Development.
Identity development is intended to help children establish a positive and healthy sense of who they are and were they come from. A positive sense of identity helps children develop self-esteem and confidence. Children who feel valued and worthy are more likely to do well in school and be optimistic adults. It also helps children be more open minded to people from other backgrounds. A positive feeling about their parents and ancestry helps children feel confident and safe about themselves and their roots.
As part of this exploration, students and families are asked to supply family photos, baby photos, and photos of inspirational family members. Families also completed a questionnaire at the beginning of the year asking about celebrations and holidays they engage in throughout the year. Classes are reading literature about children from different cultures, exploring different languages, and learning about how communities may look the same or different.
Pre-School teacher Enita Moore noted, "You will hear children having discussions about family structure and where their families are from. For example, while teaching the students a dance from Peru (my native country) 3 children were able to proudly tell me their family roots. They will also involve their new cultural discoveries through play. We are currently learning about Monarch Butterflies and The Day of the Dead. The children will pretend to be butterflies and fly to Mexico. They will also go out to the family wall or baby photo area in the classroom and share with friends which photo is theirs and talk to them about their family or tell a story about when they were a baby. We also make sure that there are current photos of the children in the classroom so they can see themselves and share with their peers. You can often hear them say "Hey, that's me! I made that!" All of these things help children gain confidence and pride for them to take out into the real world."